Tuesday, July 7, 2020

What Changes Might Be Coming to New Mac Hardware?

Jason Snell:

When the Intel transition happened, Apple was extremely restrained. The first Intel Macs were more or less the existing PowerPC Macs, but with Intel processors inside. The message was clear: Steady as she goes, no need to be concerned, these Macs are the same ones you loved, but with a different kind of chip inside.

I suppose Apple could play that game again with this transition, but I don’t think it will. […] But there are plenty of features that haven’t come over from the iPhone and iPad, and now might be the time.


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If you want to see what Apple will do tomorrow, look at what Microsoft was doing yesterday.

Is it actually true that limitations of Intel's architecture are the reason these features don't exist on the Mac?

@Moonlight I don’t think so (and I don’t think that’s what Snell is saying).

@Michael Gotcha. I do agree that there are significant marketing reasons for making a bunch of big changes all together.

The super-thin hardware design would probably not be possible with Intel chips.

Although I'm not sure how much thinner Apple can make their laptops, given that they already can't properly cool the Intel chips that they're currently using, and given that the ARM chips they're going to be using in their Macs are probably going to be running hotter than what they have in their phones and iPads. OTOH, they'll probably use smaller batteries in their ARM laptops. So there's likely some headroom for making them thinner.

Is it actually true that limitations of Intel’s architecture are the reason these features don’t exist on the Mac?

No, but Apple could give the first “Apple Silicon” Mac a much bigger splash if it’s quite different both from the outside and inside.

With the Intel Macs, they arguably wanted the opposite effect: “don’t worry about Intel Macs — they look and feel almost the same, even run just a newer point release of Tiger. But, they’re faster!”

Promotion and 120Hz is long due. I mean, 120 Hz external monitors are badly supported on macOS, but work seamlessly on Windows. Come on Apple!

Ahh, okay. Thanks @Michael and @Sören. What you describe does make sense. It is probably good for Apple to take advantage of this as an opportunity when customers are already thinking "big change" to piggyback other changes on top of it.

"The original Mac display had rounded corners"

No. The bezel had rounded corners. The menubar had rounded corners at the top left and top right of the screen.

The bottom corners of the screen were corners.

An application with the menubar hidden would have access to the full rectangular screen.

The screen image was a significant distance from the bezel, with black space in between.

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